By Mark Pavao
Pittsboro, NC – The moment of truth has arrived for North Woods. On Nov 22, the Pittsboro Board of Commissioners (BOC) will meet to discuss and vote on whether or not to send a formal letter to NCDOT confirming the BOC’s August 23rdrequest to NCDOT to evaluate a potential alignment for North Chatham Park Way east of North Woods that would largely save the neighborhood.
The Pittsboro BOC meeting starts at 7pm on Monday November 22, and can be watched at the following link.
We believe that it would be completely inappropriate for Pittsboro municipal government to endorse the destruction of North Woods without insisting that NCDOT evaluate and consider an option east of the neighborhood that may save North Woods.
We sincerely hope that Pittsboro’s Commissioners agree that NCDOT should pause to do a full and complete assessment by evaluating the possibility of a viable option east of North Woods for North Chatham Park Way.
Stand with North Woods: Stop the North Woods LAND GRAB
In January 2021, NCDOT announced a proposal, “in partnership with” Chatham Park Investors and the Town of Pittsboro, to build North Chatham Park Way through North Woods, effectively dooming the neighborhood to destruction. North Woods neighbors immediately asked: “why build this road that will primarily benefit Chatham Park through our 40-year-old neighborhood, when undeveloped land owned by Chatham Park Investors is available just east of North Woods.”
Since January, North Woods neighbors have met with NCDOT, Chatham Park and Pittsboro, and studied the public records to understand how this came to be. We uncovered an invisible and coordinated plan by Chatham Park and NCDOT that started with a concept land use map for Chatham Park’s North Village first drawn in 2015. The Chatham Park concept map alignment for North Chatham Park Way through North Woods was taken up by NCDOT in 2018 when they hired Kimley-Horn (Chatham Park’s engineering firm) to support the road design project. Of course, all of this was invisible to North Woods and the public. In fact, there was no opportunity for the public to comment on the project until Jan-Feb 2021. So, Chatham Park and NCDOT worked invisibly, behind closed doors, from 2015-2020 to develop this road proposal that would benefit Chatham Park and destroy North Woods.
Everyone sees this for what it is – a LAND GRAB from North Woods by NCDOT that will largely benefit Chatham Park Investors. Chatham Park has effectively positioned NCDOT to use its power of eminent domain to take land that would benefit Chatham Park at the expense of private citizens in a neighborhood that has been part of the Pittsboro and Chatham County community since the 1980s.
In August, the Pittsboro BOC met with NCDOT and asked them to evaluate an option east of the neighborhood that would largely preserve North Woods. Since then, NCDOT has done nothing to evaluate an option east of North Woods. In fact, NCDOT has done less than nothing as they have spent the better part of the last two months lobbying the town to back down.
If you are new to this story, you can review the full detail at the North Woods website.
You are welcome to visit and sign our petition to Save North Woods here.
Thank you for your interest and support in preserving North Woods’ unique character that helps make Pittsboro and Chatham County a special place to live.